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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold1/Dated/43
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateNovember 1917
Address From9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToAlice Greene
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The month and year have been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at Porchester Place from early April 1917 until August 1920, when she left Britain for South Africa.
1 Darling Alice
2
3 I’m glad to get such good news of you from Betty, that you are happy
4& that dear fawn-like child Eva is progressing so well. I don’t know
5which of the children I like the best, they are all so nice, but your
6boy Felix is wonderfully attractive. Betty is I think looking better
7than I’ve seen her for years, but she told you about her wrist being
8so hurt of course. I was going off to see Gladys Cawood (who has had a
9serious operation but is now getting better) – this afternoon, but
10now it is pouring with rain, so I can’t go.
11
12 Do you see the 19th Century review? There’s a review there of a book
13on the French soldiers that must be splendid; but it’s in French so
14I can’t read it with out difficulty. Its called The Fire. I wish
15some one would translate it. It’s written by a soldiers who’s been
16in the trenches himself since the beginning of the war.
17
18 Yesterday I went to a meeting of the Womans International Society
19Federation, a drawing room meeting in a private house in Kensington.
20The lecturer was a man called Cole, on the International Tradesunion
21movement & not on peace at all!
22
23 As I was going in the dark & rain up a narrow passage that leads to
24the front door of the house I was going to a lady beautifully dressed
25with a light & a little child beside her appeared at an open door. As
26I passed she said, "That way to the "traitor meeting." I didn’t
27quite understand so I stopped & said, "I beg your pardon."
28
29 "The traitor meeting" she cried out, "the Peace meeting, & all peace
30meetings are meetings of traitors!"
31
32 I said "Oh thank you so much! It’s so kind of you!" & walked on.
33
34 I generally only think of the right answer five minutes after when its
35too late, B but this came so pat, almost before she’d finished
36speaking!
37
38 Good bye, dear. I wish fate at had determined you were to be somewhere
39nearer.
40
41 Yours ever
42 Olive
43
44 ^My little allegory is coming out in the Fortnightly review for
45November. It will be out next Saturday.^
46
Notation
The review of the book on French soldiers is: Stephen Gwynn "The Man On the Firestep" Nineteenth Century Review November 1917 pp.803-15. It is an extended review of: Henri Barbusse (1916) Le Feu: journal d’une escouade Paris: Ernest Flammarion. For Schreiner's 'little allegory', see: "Who Knocks at the Door?" Fortnightly Review November 1916, pp.641-5; it also appears in Stories, Dreams and Allegories. A version of Schreiner's never completed 'The Dawn of Civilization' edited by Cronwright-Schreiner appeared as: "The Dawn" Nation and Anthenaeum 26 March 1921 vol 28, no 26 pp. 212-14; it also appears in Stories, Dreams and Allegories from the second edition on.